4zzz Headlines (Pt. 20)

  • Review announced for Medicare Local
  • Refugee Council slams loss of Immigration Health Advisory
  • Second probe to join Lady on the moon
  • Greens condemn refugee Code of Conduct
  • NSA investigation head wants amnesty for Snowden
  • Federal fishing bans scrapped

Review announced for Medicare Local
The federal government has announced a review into the national network of Medicare Locals.
The review aims to measure the capabilities of Medicare Locals and give them a chance to report their successes for the year, and undergo an accountability process. The review aims to inform Medicare Locals so they can better target their services, and to reduce costs and work more closely with local hospitals. The review will be led by former Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Professor John Horvath.

Refugee Council slams loss of Immigration Health Advisory
The Refugee Council of Australia has expressed their dissatisfaction with the federal government’s decision to disband the Immigration Health Advisory Group.
The IHAG comprised of medical professionals, psychologists and a Commonwealth Ombudsman, and designed, implemented and monitored health care services for asylum seekers in detention and the community. The Refugee Council of Australia says the removal of the majority of the IHAG is a worrying indicator of direction of Australia’s policies towards asylum seekers and refugees. The Council’s CEO, Paul Power, says that detention should only be used as a last resort and for administrative purposes.

Second probe to join Lady on the moon
After China successfully landed a probe and rover on the moon on Saturday it has announced its intentions to launch a second unmanned probe in 2017.
The mission on Saturday makes China only the third country to land spacecraft on the moon, after the former Soviet Union and the United States. The future probe, named Chang’e 5 after the mythological woman banished to the moon, aims to collect samples from the moon and eventually, return them to earth.

Greens condemn refugee Code of Conduct
The Greens have slammed the Immigration Minister’s ‘Code of Behaviour’ for refugees, labelling it a distasteful political stunt and vowing to disallow the legislation the supports it.
The Code of Behaviour will apply to all refugees who have been allowed to stay in Australia, but Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, says that Australian law is a code of behaviour that already applies to all Australian residents, and should apply to everyone equally. The Greens have labelled the move as clear discrimination that is against the ideals of a democratic society.

NSA investigation head wants amnesty for Snowden
In an interview on US TV the head of the NSA investigation into the Edward Snowden leaks has said he personally feels Snowden should be offered amnesty, if he promises to stop the leaks.
However White House spokesman Jay Carney and the chief of the NSA General Keith Alexander has said there will be no amnesty for Snowden. Snowden has been charged with leaking classified information, although he describes it as an attempt to expose the threat to privacy of covert US intelligence data mining and telephone and internet surveillance. Washington is continuing to press Russia for Snowden’s extradition.

Return of Chile’s  first female President
Chile’s elections are over, with a landslide win for former President Michelle Bachelet.
Ms Bachelet was elected Chile’s first female president in 2006, but under Chilean rules had to step down after her first term. Winning 62 per cent of the vote, the highest percentage since Chile’s return to democratic elections in 1989, President Bachelet has promised to enact more than 50 reforms in her first 100 days in power. The Alianza coalition, who had previously been in power, received only 38 per cent of the vote, the right’s worst performance in two decades.

Federal fishing bans scrapped
Fishing bans which were to lock out at least 1.3 million square kilometres of ocean have been scrapped, in an announcement from the federal government yesterday.
The move has been welcomed by National Queensland senator Ron Boswell, who says it will allow the federal government to take a scientific look at what’s needed in the marine parks and to make sure recreational and commercial fishers and other stakeholders are involved in consultation. Senator Boswell said the fishing bans would have cost tens of millions of dollars of lost income and hundreds of lost jobs in Queensland fishing ports.

Ambassador for Women and Girls appointed
Natasha Stott Despoja has been appointed as Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls in a ceremony yesterday.
Ms Stott Despoja’s focus will be to promote women’s economic empowerment, as well as participate in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, end violence against women and girls and improve access to health and education services. The move has been welcomed by federal member for Brisbane Teresa Gambaro, who described Ms Stott Despoja as a strong advocate to lead Australia’s international efforts to increase representation of women in leadership roles. Fewer than one in five parliamentarians globally are women and one third of women will experience physical violence in their lifetimes.In 2011, Ms Stott Despoja was made Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the Australian Parliament, education and as role model for women.

Aussie health suffering – especially at midlife
A new survey has shown that Australians are more overweight than their counterparts in the UK, China, France, or even the US.
The news comes in the wake of new research which shows that people in their forties are most at risk of developing chronic illnesses. Diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes are most common, which can be exacerbated by unhealthy life styles and weight problems. More than two-thirds of trauma insurance claims are made by people in their 40s, as opposed to five per cent from people in their thirties.

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